Have you booked a winter getaway with the kids? Well, whether you’re heading for sunnier climes or are embracing cooler temperatures for a snowy break, you’re going to need to give a bit of thought to packing. Leave yourself plenty of time to ensure you’ve packed everything the kids will need, using this list below for reference…
The clothing you pack for the kids will depend on where you’re going on holiday, but if you’re going skiing abroad or having a seaside holiday in the UK for example, you’ll need warm, waterproof clothing. You can buy boys’ and girls’ waterproofs online if you haven’t yet bought the right gear for your kids, and it’s well worth doing: it might be the difference between kids that are happy to play outside all day and kids that are grizzling in the pouring rain!
On the other hand, if you’re hopping on a plane for some winter sun, make sure your children have shorts, dresses or t-shirts for the day (preferably in breathable fabrics such as cotton), and lightweight cover-ups for the evening. Don’t forget sun cream and sun hats too: the UK’s wintery weather can make us forget just how warm the sun is elsewhere.
Good footwear is another basic of any holiday wardrobe for the kids. As well as flip flops beside the pool or by the beach, make sure the kids have shoes they can do lots of walking in. They’ll need comfortable shoes if you’re going to do any sightseeing or go on days out, and no one wants little blistered toes while they’re on holiday! If you’re having a break in the UK, make sure you pack wellies for the kids: as well as being the perfect choice of footwear for rainy days and muddy fields, they’re great if you’ve hired a static caravan (for example) and just want the kids to be able to slip off their dirty shoes at the door.
Spares of the essentials
As a parent, you’ll already be familiar with the fact that kids need spares of everything. However, you don’t want to pack their entire wardrobes just to go on holiday, so just bring spares of the essentials: extra pants, socks and warm layers (such as hoodies and jumpers) will come in handy if they get wet for any reason, and will save you trying to find a laundrette at short notice.
Blanket or comforter
If you’re taking young children on holiday, packing their cuddly toy or blanket is non-negotiable! Make sure they sleep soundly by having their usual comforters, and consider packing a nightlight too. Children can find it hard to sleep while on holiday (especially in unfamiliar bedrooms), and having a nightlight ‘just in case’ could mean the whole family has a much more enjoyable holiday.
While we don’t want our kids to be glued to computer screens while they’re on holiday, many parents swear by bringing a tablet along to keep kids entertained for short periods of time. For instance, if you’re having a staycation but are faced with very poor weather, you might be glad the kids have a tablet to watch a TV show on for just an hour or so. Similarly, some kind of technology may come in handy in the car or on the plane, especially if you have a long journey to get to your destination. Pack books and toys too if you have space, however – if your kids are happy to read to pass the time, you might prefer to hold the technology back in reserve!
Prams and car seats
If you have to use the car to get to your destination, the car seat will be an easy thing to remember. However, a pram is something that’s often overlooked when packing for a holiday so, if you have very young children, make sure it’s loaded into the boot with the suitcases. If you’re flying, check with your airline to make sure you won’t get any extra fees for checking in a heavy pram.
When you’re packing toiletries for the whole family, don’t forget a few essential extras as well: wet wipes always come in handy, medication (if necessary) is essential, Calpol is nice to have in emergencies, and Vaseline or an unscented moisturiser is a very good idea for any family members suffering dry skin on a winter getaway.
Finally, pack a separate bag to use when travelling. This bag should contain things like sealed plastic bags with handy snacks, juices, wet wipes and cash (just in case your purse is buried under a mountain of luggage). Follow these tips and have a lovely holiday together!